Tuesday Jun 19 2018

PTI decides to nominate 240 NA candidates all over country

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing protesters at Bani Gala/ Geo News screen grab

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's parliamentary board on Monday decided to nominate as many as 240 candidates for the National Assembly seats all over the country.

In a high-level huddle chaired by the party chief Imran Khan, the party successfully reached consensus over the nomination of candidates on disputed seats in Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan.

The party has decided to announce its remaining candidates for the national and provincial seats today (Tuesday).

Meanwhile, the party chief has decided to review and give his final decision over the grievances of party workers on the ticket distribution in three-day time, meanwhile, the disgruntled party workers have continued their sit-in protest against the party outside Banigala. 

The PTI chief failed on Monday to pacify protesting party workers despite assurances that he will review the party's decisions regarding awarding tickets for the upcoming elections.

He made the remarks while addressing disgruntled PTI members protesting outside his residence in Bani Gala.

The PTI chairman, while trying to placate the agitated workers, said that the decision for awarding tickets was taken by the parliamentary members of the party on the basis of merit. 

He asserted that he would not be forced to change his decision on the basis of pressure.

“If I change my decision today because of you, tomorrow more people will come here… I am not saying this because of me or my honesty.. I am saying this because I fear Allah,” said Imran while addressing the protesters earlier in the day.

He then urged the workers to submit review petitions, adding that he will sit with the party's board and review the decisions in the next three days.

“Will decide on the basis of merit,” Imran said to the disgruntled workers, after listening to their grievances. 

Following the party chairman's reassurances, the protesting members ended their demonstration and started to disperse. 

'Humans can make mistakes'

However, later on, another group of protesters emerged and began demonstrating against the "unfair" award of party tickets.

This group of protesters, around 1,500 to 2,000 in number, crossed the barrier leading to Imran's hilltop residence and camped outside the main gate to his house. 

Imran again came out to address the protesters from behind the gate, saying he has been working for 12 hours at a stretch to resolve their grievances. 

"I'm a human and humans can make mistakes," he admitted, repeating his advice to submit petitions of grievances. The PTI chief asked the protesters to leave so the party leaders could get to work on the issue. 

Imran asked the workers to trust him, giving example how he expelled 20 MPAs from the party for selling votes during the Senate elections.

Later, as the protesters attempted to barge inside, the police resorted to disperse them which resulted in a commotion. 

Following that, PTI workers from Gujrat, who were protesting against the party's seat adjustment plans with PML-Q, managed to storm Imran's office inside his estate before being shown out by private guards. 

Around 9pm Imran once more came out to address the workers and praised their "passion and committment". He reiterated that he will not let injustice be meted out to anyone during the award of party tickets.

Reserved seats' list to be amended

Earlier on Monday, the PTI decided to amend the lists of party candidates nominated on reserved seats for the upcoming general election.

According to sources, the PTI chairman will himself prepare a new list of candidates for reserved seats.

Sources said the decision was taken after party leaders pointed fingers at Shireen Mazari and Munaza Hasan for denying seats to ‘rightful’ female party workers in favour of their ‘favourites’ and ignoring the recommendations of the regional party presidents.